New tools in the assessment of toxicity focus on developing a better mechanistic understanding of the biological interactions and pathways involved, through the application of cellular and molecular based methods, combined with computational approaches. These methods are designed to measure biological perturbations, rather than toxicity per se. Hence, some changes may reflect desirable effects whilst others may reflect untoward effects, depending on the concentration of the chemical present. This is particularly important when considering food. Hence, this task force is investigating how these new approaches can be applied in risk assessments that are relevant to the development of safe foods and food ingredients.
A new activity on the ‘Application of Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) for Foods and Food Ingredients in Risk Assessment’ will be launched in November. The task force intends to organise a workshop in late 2018 on this topic.
The task force aims to be at the forefront of advances in the safety assessment of food, proposing guidance on the utility, development and application of novel methodologies to assess hazard and risk in the food chain. Using appropriate cutting-edge methods will contribute towards the supply of safe foods/food ingredients.
The publications on ‘Establishing the Level of Safety Concern for Chemicals in Food without the Need for Toxicity Testing’ (B. Schilter et al., 2014) and ‘Considering New Methodologies in Strategies for Safety Assessment of Foods and Food Ingredients’ (B.J. Blaauboer et al., 2016) led to the formation of this young task force. The first publication alone has been cited 19 times and the second manuscript has been cited 3 times to date.
For more detailed information, please contact Dr Bettina Schelkle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Exploitation of ToxCast Data on Food Chemicals for Safety Risk Assessment
A high throughput screening programme of chemicals for potential toxicity (ToxCast) was performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ToxCast Expert Group aims to exploit the data relevant to the food industry from the ToxCast programme and to assess the utility of the data and methods for their use in the safety risk assessment of food chemicals.
The intention is to build on earlier work commissioned by ILSI North America in which approximately 800 food relevant chemicals within the ToxCast programme were identified through conducting approximately 860 in vitro biological assays / endpoints.
This activity will draw conclusions from the chemical structure of food-relevant compounds to assess their safety for human consumption and handling. An Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) may be developed based on these conclusions.
Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2016;91:19-35. Commissioned by the New Approaches to Chemical Risk Assessment Task Force.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2014;68(2):275-296. Commissioned by the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food Task Force.
ILSI Europe Report Series. 2012:1-24. Commissioned by the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food Task Force and the Process-related Compounds & Natural Toxins Task Force.
Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2003;41(9):1205-1271.